A new year marks a new leader for the Evansville IceMen as they begin 2015 with the announcement that former NHL player and coach, Al Sims has been named the team's new head coach.

Sims replaces Dwight Mullins who was hired as head coach in early 2014 to replace Jeff Pyle who was let go after one season. In the first 29 games as coach, Mullins posted a record of 9-16-2-2. Assistant Coach, Josh Beaulieu will serve as Interim Head Coach this weekend while Sims awaits work visa approval. However, Sims will be in attendance at both IceMen home games this weekend.

A five time championship coach and NHL veteran, Sims comes to Evansville with quite the resumé.

The Toronto, Ontario, Canada native was the 47th overall pick of the Boston Bruins in the third round of the 1973 NHL draft and would go on to play 476 regular season and 40 playoff games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins, where he spent part of his career as Bobby Orr's defensive partner, the Hartford Whalers, and the Los Angeles Kings.

According to a press release provided by the team to the media, the 61-year-old began his coaching career with the IHL’s Fort Wayne Komets where he qualified for the playoffs in each of his four years there and won the IHL Championship in the 1992-93 season and was named IHL Coach of the Year.

He moved on to the National Hockey League where he became an Assistant Coach for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for three years before becoming the Head Coach for the NHL San Jose Sharks for the 1996-97 season.

Outside of his NHL tenure, he has coached the Milwaukee Admirals (IHL); Reading Royals (ECHL); Corpus Christi Rayz (CHL); and Fort Worth Brahmas (CHL) before returning to the Fort Wayne Komets in 2007-08 where in six years he posted a remarkable record of 256 wins and 132 losses in the IHL, CHL, and ECHL. The Komets would win the League Championship four more times under his leadership in 2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-10; and 2012-13.

He's spent the past year and a half coaching in the GMHL (Greater Metro Junior Hockey League) in Ontario where he led the sixth place Bradford Rattlers to the GMHL Championship Finals during the 2013-2014 season.

The Evansville IceMen will host the Reading Royals Friday night, and Kalamazoo on Saturday inside the Ford Center. The puck drops at 7:15 both nights with tickets available through the Ford Center box office, and online through Ticketmaster.

Both games can also be heard on ESPN Evansville 105.3, and online at ESPNevansville.com with pregame at 7 p.m.